CHARLES AND FRANCES HUNTER
CHARLES (1920- ) AND FRANCES HUNTER (1916- ), also known as the Happy Hunters, are well-known charismatic healing evangelists of our day. The May 1986 issue of Charisma magazine stated that the Hunters were among the top 20 most popular and influential Charismatic leaders.
The Hunters promote the doctrine that healing is in the atonement and conduct "Healing Explosion" conferences to teach Christians how to heal the sick. They also distribute their healing seminars on audio and video cassette. Hundreds of thousands have attended their crusades in various parts of the world. Almost 200,000 people attended the first 21 Healing Explosion meetings in the United States in 1985, and as many as 50,000 people attended single crusades. Their annual budget was more than $2 million in 1987.
The Hunters claim that "every Spirit-filled Christian can and should be healing the sick on a daily basis" (advertisement for Healing Explosion crusades). In How to Heal the Sick, the Hunters say: "Yes, it is God's will for you to be healed. You do not bring glory to God by walking around sick, saying, I am being sick for the glory of God. Sickness does not bring glory to God -- healing and health bring glory to God!" (p. 18).
In their Handbook for Healing, the Hunters say, "There is nothing that will convince a sinner of the reality of Jesus faster than witnessing a miracle" (p. 28). The Lord Jesus Christ taught that such a philosophy is wrong, that if people will not believe the Scriptures, they will not believe even if they see someone rise from the dead (Luke 16:29-31).
In the Handbook for Healing the Hunters also teach that when Christians heal "a force field of power comes out of you" and "the closer you are to the person, the more power they will feel and receive" (p. 91).
The Hunters teach that "miracle evangelism" is part of God's end-time program and that through this means a great ingathering of souls will precede Christ's return. They claim that in June 1980 God gave them a vision about worldwide miracle evangelism and instructed them that healing is part of the message of salvation (How to Heal the Sick, p. 5). The Hunters also believe their ministry is a fulfillment of a vision allegedly received by Tommy Hicks in 1961. He claims that he saw Jesus stretching forth his hands to people throughout the world and that a stream of "liquid light" issued forth from his hands to the people, signifying his miracle-working anointing upon end-times Christians. The Hunters published Hicks' alleged vision in their book How to Heal the Sick.
I have personally witnessed the Hunter's healing meetings on two occasions, and both times the wheelchair bound people who attended left unhealed and extremely disappointed. I did not see any significant healing at these meetings. During a healing crusade in the Philippines in January 1988, Frances Hunter developed an eye infection and in spite of attempts by the "healing teams" to heal her, she was forced to go to a doctor and get medication. She was embarrassed to find a copy of their book How to Heal the Sick in the waiting room of the doctor's office.
In a Hunter healing crusade in Long Beach, California, all of the members of the healing team caught a virus that was moving through the area. Frances Hunter had to return home and spend 10 days in bed with this virus (Ministries Today, Nov.-Dec. 1991, p. 28).
In a Honduras crusade in 1991 Frances Hunter injured her knee and was unable to attend one of the meetings.
In 1989 the Hunters were ordered by a federal judge to pay $300,000 to a 67-year-old California woman, Evelyn Kuykendall, who was injured when she was "slain in the spirit" at one of their meetings. She fractured her back and spent two months in the hospital from the injury sustained during one of the Hunter's healing meetings (Francis MacNutt, Overcome by the Spirit, p. 171).
While conducting a healing crusade in England in 1995, Frances Hunter broke her right heel and had to be brought back to the States in a wheelchair.
In their book Handbook for Healing the Hunters even give instructions for healing baldness: "To heal baldness, command healing to the hair follicles and command the hair to be restored to normal growth" (p. 106). In spite of their own instructions, both of the Hunters are partially bald!
The Happy Hunters, as already noted in this report, promote the unscriptural Laughing Revival; and their ministry is characterized by the dangerous and unscriptural phenomena of "spirit slaying."
The Hunters teach people that they need to speak in tongues to have God's miracle power. To receive the gift of tongues people are urged by the Hunters to stop thinking and to start muttering sounds so that God will allegedly take control of their tongues. This is the instruction given by Charles Hunter: "In just a moment when I tell you to, begin loving and praising God by speaking forth a lot of different syllable sounds; but not in a language you know, and don't try to think of the sounds. At first make the sounds rapidly so you won't try to think ... Continue ... with long flowing sentences ... loudly at first" (Charles Hunter, Charisma, July 1989). This is foolish and unscriptural counsel.
In 1979 the Hunters published a book entitled Angels on Assignment which records alleged angelic visitations experienced by an Assemblies of God pastor named Roland Buck. Among other things, Buck claimed that an angel appeared to him and told him that Jesus Christ "didn't taste physical death for us." After being challenged about this statement by Walter Martin, this part of the book was rewritten, "leading Martin not only to question the authenticity of these angelic visitations but also to comment tersely, 'How can one edit an angel's words?'" (Foundation magazine, Jan.-Feb. 1980, p. 21).